September Sales: Hyundai Hangover-Free, Up 26 Percent

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

If Ford, Honda, Toyota and Nissan are nursing headaches after the Cash For Clunkers party and GM and Chrysler are still asleep in puddles of their own vomit, Hyundai Group never went to sleep and is still partying hard. With sales up 26 percent over September ’08, Hyundai is holding a clinic on the difference between a soft landing with an excuse and real success. And Kia [via Autospies] isn’t far behind, with sales up 24.4 percent. As if to prove that nobody has it easy in today’s global car game, Bloomberg reports that the strength of the Korean Won is gouging Hyundai’s overseas profit. Still, in the American market, Hyundai wouldn’t trade places with any other manufacturer.

Accent added about 1,800 sales compared to its performance last September, while Sonata shed about 730 sales. Elantra was the big winner though, with a 104 percent increase to 7,513 units. Santa Fe jumped 50 percent, ending up with 7,010 sales while Genesis added about 60 percent to 1,665. Tucson sales edged up by a few hundred units, while Veracruz (574) and Azera (339) edged lower into triple digit sales. Entourage and Tiburon are circling the toilet at 28 and 37 units respectively.

Kia sold 462 of its remaining Spectras, but its brand-new Forte replacement smashed the Spectra’s performance last September by logging 4,449 sales. Optima was a screamer as well, selling 5,986 compared to September 08’s 1,905. Soul had a respectable 2,459-unit month and Sportage edged up by about 200 units to 1,938. On the downside, Sorento fell hard from 3,163 to 854, as did Rondo (2,642 to 653). Sedona slid by 350 sales, ending up at 1,297. Rio was up by about 750 units and Borrego volume tripled to 667. Amanti is over at 47 units.

With new Tucson and Sonata models on the way, Hyundai’s assault on the fat part of the American market seems to only just be ramping up. Meanwhile, the real laggards on the Hyundai roster are late-addition SUVs which likely won’t be aggressively replaced. Kia still has major weak points in its lineup, specifically on the Rio, Rondo and Amanti fronts. For all its perception-altering presence, the Soul still hasn’t proven to be a mainstream hit, and considering how strong the compact CUV segment is, the Sportage is something of an underachiever. Still, Hyundai-Kia has momentum that the other automakers can only dream of.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • DisturbedDriver DisturbedDriver on Oct 02, 2009
    So no, you’re incorrect, and you’ve provided absolutely no facts to prove your claims. I know that you don’t want to deal with the truth, but the truth is quite different from what you believe it to be. Incorrect about what? I've been addressing the issue of whether rental fleets have accounted for the rise in Hyundai sales year after year. Yes, a good portion of Hyundai's sales go to rental fleets...I think I've already stated that at least twice so far. The question I've been posing is, can we honestly say that the +26% rise is solely due to rentals? This isn't the first time this same question has been posed. I believe some time back in another auto blog I read, another poster concluded back around Q1 2009 (around the time your first article was posted) even when taking into account auto sales to rental fleets, Hyundai's sales still fell roughly by only -7.5%. Once again, I don't deny the facts, nor am I a partisan of some sorts as someone else has been suspecting me of being. =) I'm just questioning whether we can so quickly jump to conclusions about Hyundai's fleet sales. If I'm not wrong, they've always constituted a large percentage and some here believe that the rise is solely due to rental sales. I'm not buying that until I see other numbers showing that only recently Hyundai's consumer sales dropped while it sold cars en masse to rental fleets to overcompensate for the losses. I've looked all around, and I haven't seen such numbers. I won't conclude from this that Hyundai has never engaged in such a practice, which is why I'm leaving the question open.
  • BD BD on Oct 04, 2009

    Ed has to do a better job regarding looking at all the data (instead of just 1 month) before coming to conclusions about a particular model. Saying that the Soul has not proven to be a mainstreet hit based on Sept. sales of about 2,500 is WRONG and misleading. In the 6 months that the Soul has fully been available for sale in the US, Kia has moved over 24,000 units of the Soul (about a 4k monthly clip). The drop in sales may be due to a supply issue after the big clash for clunkers month (the Nissan Cube also saw a precipitous drop in sales from August). In comparison, Toyota w/ a full year (up to end of Sept.) of sales has sold less xBs (about 4k less or roughly a 2,300 monthly clip). As for the Genesis sales being up 60% from Sept. of last year, that stat is a bit misleading since the Genesis sedan had been on the US market for only a couple of months w/ the coupe not available until this year. Genesis sales actually dropped from August of this year (about 2,300) - while the sedan is doing reasonably well, it appears that the sales of the coupe has thus far been underwhelming (may be a supply issue w/ the most desirable variants hard to come by). Sales of the Sportage is actually doing pretty well (esp. considering its a model on its last legs and due soon for a replacement) - compared to last year, sales year to date are up significantly 38,900 to 27,800. Most of Hyundai's and Kia's lineup will be replaced next year (or the following year) - the Sonata, Elantra, Tuscon, Accent, Optima, Sportage, Amanti, etc. - we're likely to see an even bigger increase in sales by Hyundai/Kia.

  • JOHN One is for sale on an ebay car donation site.
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  • NJRide This could give Infiniti dealers an extra product maybe make it a sub brand